Carpet Drying: Step by Step Guide and Tools You Need

Carpets are important additions to any home. They not only add value and beauty to your property, they also provide warmth and comfort. And if you want your carpet to last for many, many years, you should learn about the right ways to preserve it and keep it dry all the time.

But sometimes, mishaps happen. Baby spills milk on it, hubby spills coffee, the dog pees, etc. The worst, a water pipe bursts, causing major flooding inside your home. There are many possible reasons why your most treasured carpet can get wet and damaged.

Fortunately, it isn’t the end of the world. Depending on the damage, there are several ways to salvage your carpet. Learning about the right drying methods and tools will give you peace of mind.

***If water damage is caused by outside water, you will need to consult with a water damage professional. Groundwater ranks as the highest of 3 category levels of water contamination. This means that flood water is “grossly unsanitary” and is full of bacteria and other unsafe ingredients. Click here for 5 reasons why to let professionals handle the water damage.

Step by Step Guide & Tools You Need

The drying method you will use for your carpet depends on the situation or how severe the water damage has been. If you have a small carpet or rug that is wet, the best thing to do is remove it and hang it to dry completely. If it’s too large to be removed, you will have to dry it right where it is using a specialized tool, such as a shop vac.

You will need just a few basic tools to get started: a shop vac, towels, air movers, heater, and dehumidifier. These tools you most likely have at home already.

Follow these steps to dry wet carpet efficiently:

Small Area- Drying Carpet

1.Extract water using a shop vac.

You will need a shop vac to remove water from your wet carpet. Consider using different attachments, starting from the biggest to the smallest to see which works best. You want to push the vacuum attachment down so it can fully extract water and moisture from the carpet. Make sure you have a filter. A sponge-type one is good. Don’t use a paper filter as it will just disintegrate and clog in your vac.

***Don’t use your regular vacuum as it is not meant for liquids and will more than likely ruin your vacuum.

***If you’re having trouble sucking up all the water, it may be time to call a local water restoration company to assist you with the cleanup. Big water damages will need specialized equipment and resources.

2. Extract remaining water using towels.

You will need a few towels to take out the remaining water from your carpet. Press one towel hard against the carpet. You may also step, walk, or jump on it to force the water from the carpet pad out. When the towel is wet, replace it with another one. Repeat this step several times until you can hardly get a damp towel.

3. Apply heat, air movers, and humidifiers.

Allowing the air to circulate in the room is very helpful in drying a wet carpet. Use a fan or air mover for carpet drying to get the job done easily. Applying heat is a great idea too as warm air can hold more water than cold air. Here is where a hair dryer may come in handy. If you’re using a heater, be very careful so you don’t start a fire! (Set 3 feet away from carpet or fabric and make sure there is great air flow!) If you have a humidifier at home, arrange it in such a way that the dry air coming out is blown across the wet carpet.

Medium Area – Drying Carpet

1.Extract water using a shop vac and towels.

Just like extracting water from a small area, you will also need to use a shop vac along with a couple of towels to remove the water. Follow the same steps mentioned above. Again, you want to use different vac attachments to ensure that you extract as much water as you can. 

2.Expose the pads.

Your carpet may look dry on the outside, but you need to peel it back and expose the pad. The carpet pad should be your primary concern as it has certainly absorbed water from your carpet and won’t dry unless it can be exposed. Find a corner of the room closest to the wet area. Then, grab the carpet fibers with your thumb to peel it to expose the pad. You may hear some crackling or tearing sound but that’s okay. That’s just the tack strip that ties the carpet and pad together.

3. Extract water from the pad.

Using your shop vac and some towels, extract as much water as you can (followins steps found in step 1).

4. Use air movers and heat.

Do the same thing with the first scenario, using air movers or applying heat on both the carpet and carpet pad makes the drying process much easier. A dehumidifier will also move warm air towards your wet carpet for faster, better results.

If the wet area in your carpet is too large to handle all by yourself (especially in the case of flooding), the best thing to do is to seek professional help from certified water restoration specialists.

Large affected areas may not be manageable with a shop vac, and special equipment might be needed to remove the water and dry your carpet. Carpet cleaners and restoration experts often use a moisture meter or an infrared camera to ensure that your floor or wall is fully dried and does not give room for mold to grow once the carpet is reinstalled.

A Few More Carpet Drying Tips

  • When it comes to wet carpets, taking immediate action is the key to prevent the growth of dangerous mold. If you see mold or smell mildew, you may need to replace your damaged carpet. Open some windows for air to fully circulate. Turn on your ceiling fans and/or air conditioning unit. Remember that during very humid conditions, the air can’t absorb a lot of moisture, so the drying process will take longer than usual.

  • A wet carpet is a major concern for any household. Whether it’s a simple liquid spill or a major indoor flooding, you have to take action right away. After 48 hours, your carpet could become a perfect breeding ground for mold build-up.

  • However, in case of a major water damage, it is best to contact a qualified carpet restoration company. They have specialized tools and equipment to dry your carpet properly and prevent further damage.

Guest Post Writer: Megan Jones

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